Asked — Edited

Auto Position Control

I've been working and learning the Auto Position control for the first time ever trying to program my newly completed full sized B9 Robot arm. I've played with this control a little last year but never really got into it because I've been concentrating on building the arm.

My arm is heavy (about 12 lbs) and uses several different servos installed in gearboxes and a Kangaroo/Sabertooth controlled DC motor at each joint.

Before I go on I do know that each control and setting has a "?" where I can get information and help. I've read each ?"? several times, read the one tutorial, watched DJ's three videos on the Auto Position control and also hunted through this forum looking for all thing concerning this control. I gotta admit that I'm still needing guidance with a few aspects of using it to build frames and actions and getting the servos to transition smoothly between moves.

Over the past few days I've studied this control and built a few actions from a few frames I've made. I'M very happy with the results I've gotten but it's been a learning curve where I've gotten a little frustrated by the differences in using this control in programming my arm and the way it's shown in the videos. Yes, the excited and rushed vids and tutorial shows the basic way to use the control. Drag, drop, set ports, click, click, click, more drag dropping and boom! you have a robot running around the room. :D Well, that's it in a nutshell but I found there are important steps and settings in this control that I've had a hard time figuring out while using it. I cant find any real info on this stuff. I've had to just fiddle around with different things till I think I've got things smoothly working. One of the first things I found is I just cant drag and drop frames, one after the other, into an Action and expect it to work like in the videos DJ made. I Have to place Pauses in between the frames to give my servos time to complete the moves. I don't know why the frames in DJ's vids work so nicely together and I need to add pauses. Adding pauses is not a big deal but still it's something different from the tutorial that needed to be figured out.

The difficulty I've had using this control and the differences in results I've had from the videos may be because I'm not using the smaller Revolution servos that are used with EZ Robot's robots and the way my arm is built. I may also be a little more dense in the head then other more experienced robot builders. Either way I need more info on a few things before I spend useless hours struggling through this.

Here's a few things I need to know:

Is there any other good source of information other then the three videos DJ did and the one tutorial? I've looked over other example projects and a few posts and got some help by looking at other settings.

How to the Delay, Steps, Speed setting effect each other? Yes, I read the "?" several times and it gives an explanation but not one that answers my questions. I've found that adjusting one setting may throw off the other but I'm not really sure. For some servo moves I really need to increase the Steps setting to over 40 to get rid of jerky servo movements but that really speeds up the servo. Then if I change the Speed setting the jerkiness comes back. I really don't see any differences at all when I change the Delay settings. In all the projects I never see this setting changed anyway.

##The other thing I don't understand is these Delay, Steps, Speed setting boxes are found in about 4 different places in the Auto Pos control. When and how should I use each of them and do they effect the final saved frame or action? The only one I really understand is the one that changes the setting of the frame in the Action EDIT screen. I'm talking about understanding the one that pops up when you click on Edit from the action section. Not the one that sits in the middle of the Action screen. confused

Too many choices and not enough direction. ;) I love the flexibility and availability of more options but I'd love it more if I knew how to use them. :)


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Each control has a "?" wh..... Hem. Well. blush

I haven't played with the AutoPosition much. This raises some ideas for me and makes me think I should use it...


@MazeHorizonTech What? LOL... the autopositioner is the greatest invention since sliced bread... It made my inMoov come alive... :) I use it a lot, it's a fantastic control...


So, Guys,

Like Dave said - - How do we use all the great flexibility of the AutoPositioner if we don't understand the basics of the timing options offered?


I learned how to use it ... well, by using it?... Trial and error... Really, for me that's all there was to it... The first time I looked at it, I did not even know what I was looking at let alone figuring out how to use it... But, slowly from playing with it I figured it all out...


@all I'm on the same boat here. I've been concentrating on how my bots are engineered and looks that it's only now after nearly 4 years that I'm fiddling with programming:) Anyway I'm imagining this is kinda like stop motion animation? Multiple frames played turns into action? I'll play around with it.


Good to see you back Doom. Ya, I'm in the "play around with it stage" also. Once I get the hang of it I'll gladly help with any questions and share what I've learned if I can.



Exactly, you set up each frame, then string them together very much like stop motion. The settings that Dave is asking about allow transition from one frame to another without necessarily building all the intermediate frames, and he is also correct, the documentation is a little bit light. There are a number of threads where DJ has answered questions, but those answers haven't made their way back to the documentation yet.

I go back and forth between trial and error or trying to find the threads where the questions were answered (sorry @David, not the answer you were looking for I know).

If you have some servos around, I would suggest making an arm with the same number of joints as the B9 arm, and practicing in miniature to figure out the best combination of settings before jumping into the full arm control.



Yes, I was going to suggest what @Alan suggested... Build yourself a cheap servo arm and experiment with it... I used some hitecs and some lynmotion servo brackets (before I got my ez robot servos) and just messed with a make shift arm...


Who's up for making a user tutorial?

Richard r and bob houson are sure the Auto Position experts.


Thanks guys. Ya, a mock up sounds like a good idea. In the mean time I'll keep playing with I've got and figure it out. I made some good progress today.